The way companies and governments do business with China

19th April 2010, 01:32
For those living in Australia,

The ABC ‘Four Corners’ programme will tonight (Monday at 8.30) look into how the jailing of Rio Tinto's executive and Australian citizen Stern Hu has fundamentally changed the way companies and governments do business with China.


John Dryden
19th April 2010, 01:58
Companies,goverment,business,law,jail, Rio Tinto,Australia and China all rolled into,what ?A half hour, one hour tv programme.Maybe, but I doubt it somehow.Consider it an answer free zone and enjoy it.

19th April 2010, 02:01
For those overseas,

I have just had a look at the ABC web site and the show might be on their website tonight at 8.30 eastern australian time. (

Chinese Whispers

Reporter: Marian Wilkinson
Broadcast: 19/04/2010

On 29th March this year mining company executive Stern Hu was sentenced to ten years jail in China for accepting bribes and stealing commercial secrets.
Stern Hu has not spoken to the media. The hearings that led to his conviction were closed, and the precise nature of the evidence used to convict him has still not been made clear. Four Corners reporter Marian Wilkinson reveals new details of the events surrounding his arrest, and looks at the fall-out generated by the Hu case.

His former employer, Rio Tinto, is just one organisation that’s learned there can be a high price to pay for doing business in China. Although executives and government leaders are reluctant to discuss the problems they’ve encountered, Four Corners shows how the Stern Hu case and other recent events have fundamentally changed the way both companies and governments do business with our powerful North-Asian trading neighbour.

"Chinese Whispers" goes to air on 19th April at 8.30 pm on ABC 1. It is repeated on 20th April at 11.35 pm. Also available online.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
21st April 2010, 12:35
This is interesting for me.

I worked for some years for a British company that was highly competent at doing business with China, and more recently I have worked for a Chinese company that is not bad at doing business with the rest of the world.

One thing that struck me right away about this case was that Mr Hu and his colleagues in China were reporting to an RTZ office in Singapore. This strikes me as absolutely wrong, and perhaps indicative of other mistakes in management systems. There is nothing wrong with Singapore, but what is the reason for interposing an office in roughly the same time zone between China and Australia? The effect is surely to make staff in China feel more remote from their corporation, which is never good. Given the immense importance of the Chinese market to RTZ, and the very well known issues involved with doing business with Chinese steelworks (think "karaoke lounge...") I think that fundamental mistakes were made here.

I could write an awful lot more but perhaps I had better not.

21st April 2010, 13:16
Rio Tinto sacked Stern Hu the minute he was found guilty. Business is business!

John T.

21st April 2010, 14:33
Whilst stern Hu was an Australian National one mustnot forget that RTZ is not controled sorely controlled from Australia. Without going into whether or not Stern Hu was guilty .after 26 years of working with China and Chinese Officialdom I can say not everything from western ideals was straitforward!! So I for one view the whole proceedings with some credulance!!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
21st April 2010, 15:56
AS I understand it there were two allegations: espionage and corruption.

My point was that better management would have made it impossible for either of these allegations to be made, and that is how people and companies should conduct themselves in China.